David L. Cooperrider

Fairmount Minerals Professor, Organizational Behavior
Director of University Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit

David Cooperrider, PhdDavid L. Cooperrider is the Fairmount Minerals Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. Professor Cooperrider is past President of the National Academy of Management’s OD Division and has lectured and taught at Harvard, Stanford, University of Chicago, Katholieke University in Belgium, MIT, University of Michigan, Cambridge and others. Currently David serves as Faculty Director of the Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit. The center’s core proposition is that sustainable value creation is the business opportunity of the 21st century, indeed that every social and global issue of our day is an opportunity to ignite industry leading innovation, eco-entrepreneurship, and new sources of value.

Founding Theoretical Work in Appreciative Inquiry (AI)

David is best known as the co-creator and creative thought leader of Appreciative Inquiry (AI). His founding work with AI is creating a positive revolution in the leadership of change; it is helping institutions all over the world discover the power of the strength-based approaches to multi-stakeholder innovation and collaborative design. Cooperrider’s work is especially unique because of its ability to enable positive change, innovation, and sustainable design in systems of large and complex scale.

Consultant and Advisor

David has been a consultant and advisor to a wide variety of organizations including the Boeing Corporation, Fairmount Minerals, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, McKinsey, Parker Hannifin, Sherwin Williams, Verizon, Wal-Mart as well as American Red Cross, American Hospital Association, Cleveland Clinic, World Vision and United Way of America. These projects are inspired by the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methodology for which Professor Cooperrider is best known. Admiral Clark, the CNO of the Navy, for example brought AI into the Navy for a multiyear project on “Bold and Enlightened Naval Leadership.” And in June 2004 Cooperrider was asked by the United Nations to design and facilitate a historic, unprecedented Summit on global corporate citizenship, a meeting between Kofi Annan and 500 business leaders to “unite the strengths of markets with the authority of universal ideals to make globalization work for everyone.”

Meeting Speaker and Facilitator

David’s often serves as meeting speaker and facilitator of large group, interactive conference events focusing on topics such as; strengths-based leadership, innovation, positive organizational development, large scale whole systems change, sustainable design, and Appreciative Inquiry and strategy. His dynamic ideas on AI and sustainable design have been published in journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Human Relations, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, The OD Practitioner, and in research series such as Advances in Strategic Management. More popularly, Professor Cooperrider’s work has been covered by The New York Times; Forbes Magazine; Science, Fast Company, Fortune, Christian Science Monitor, San Francisco Chronicle, and Biz Ed and others.

Recognition and Awards

David was recently honored as the third Peter F. Drucker Distinguished Fellow for the Peter F. Drucker & Masatoshi Ito School of Management, part of Claremont Graduate University. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award by ASTD–the American Society for Training and Development.  This award is presented to him in recognition of his work in Appreciative Inquiry and the impact he has had on the training and development profession. He has been recipient of Best Paper of the Year Awards at the Academy of Management and was name top researcher of the year at Case in 2005. Likewise numerous clients have received awards for their work with Appreciative Inquiry. Among his highest honors, David was invited to design a series of dialogues among 25 of the world’s top religious leaders, started by His Holiness the Dalai Lama who said, “If only the world’s religious leaders could just know each other, the world will be a better place.” Using AI, the group held meetings in Jerusalem and at the Carter Center with President Jimmy Carter in Atlanta. Today the United Religions Initiative has over 300 centers around the world devoted to fostering interfaith dialogue.

David has published 15 books and authored close to 50 articles. Cooperrider’s volumes include Appreciative Inquiry Berrett-Kohler (with Diana Whitney), The Organization Dimensions of Global Change (with Jane Dutton), Organizational Courage and Executive Wisdom and Appreciative Leadership and Management (both with Suresh Srivastva). David is editor of a new academic book series Advances in Appreciative Inquiry (with Michel Avital) published by Elsevier Science.

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